Florida baseball: What we learned from second-ranked Gators' sweep of Charleston Southern

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Gators watch from the dugout during the 2023 season opener against Charleston Southern's Buccaneers, Friday, February 17, 2023, at Condron Family Baseball Park in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators beat the Buccaneers 13-3. [Cyndi Chambers/ Gainesville Sun] 2023

Florida baseball completed a three-game sweep of Charleston Southern with an 8-0 win on Sunday afternoon at Condron Family Ballpark.

The Gators outscored Charleston Southern 37-5 in the three-game series, with two called after seven innings because of the SEC's new 10-run rule.

Florida (3-0) enters the week ranked No. 2 in the country in Baseball America's Top 25, behind LSU.

Home grown sluggerAfter last season's blastoff for the Florida Gators, how far will Wyatt Langford go in 2023?

Opening night successFlorida baseball: 3 takeaways from UF's 13-3 season-opening win against Charleston Southern

Prediction timeFlorida baseball: 3 bold predictions amid higher hopes for the Gators in 2023 season

Here are three things learned from Florida's sweep:

Jac Caglianone can be a reliable third starter

Caglianone was dominant in his starting debut for the Gators, as the sophomore lefty pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk with 9 strikeouts in Florida's 8-0 win.

Caglianone's nine strikeouts were the most for a Gator pitcher making his debut since Karsten Whiston struck out nine against USF on Feb. 20, 2011. He maintained his velocity in the upper 90s for most of the outing.

"If he throws like that consistently, he's going to put us in a really good place on Sundays," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "To have a guy that has that good of an arm, locates his fastball both sides, throws breaking ball for strikes, his slider, threw a couple of changeups ... His pace was outstanding."

Florida's lineup is balanced from 1-through-9

Florida's 37 total runs scored marks the team's most through three games since opening the 2015 season with 38 runs.

The Gators got production up and down the lineup, with seven different players driving in runs Friday, eight different players driving in runs on Saturday and five different players driving in runs on Sunday.

Hitting stars over the weekend included outfielder Ty Evans (6-for-10, 4 doubles, 10 RBIs), catcher BT Riopelle (6- for-12, 1 HR, 8 RBIs) and shortstop Josh Rivera (3-for-6, 4 RBIs).

Florida played clean in the field throughout the weekend

The Gators have yet to commit an error. Riopelle was solid behind the plate with one caught stealing in two attempts and one passed ball in the series.

"We've improved tremendously defensively," O'Sullivan said.

Michael Robertson showed good range in center field, making a running catch on a blooper on Friday night that saved a run from scoring.

"That one ball he had to come in on was not an easy ball to read off the bat," O'Sullivan said. "He kind of made it look easy. His closing speed is really good."

Up Next

Florida will begin a two-game series with USF in Tampa on Tuesday (6 p.m., ESPN+, AM 850 WRUF) then return home to host USF on Wednesday (6 p.m., SEC Network+, WRUF).